Think it Out
Question 1: Identify the stanza that talks of each of the following:
Individuality, rationalism, hypocrisy
Answer: The stanzas that talk of each of the quality in questions are given below:
(i) individuality: Third stanza
(ii) rationalism: First stanza
(iii) hypocrisy: Second stanza
Question 2: What according to the poem, is involved in the process of growing up?
Answer: According to the poem, the loss of childhood is involved in the process of growing up.
This loss is compensated by some gains which come with adolescence. These are: increase in understanding, power of rationalising and discrimination as well as a sense of individuality and self-confidence.
Question 3: What are the poet’s feelings towards childhood?
Answer: The poet regards childhood as an important stage in the process of growing up. Childhood is a period of make-believe. Children readily accept whatever the elders say. The poet does not feel any regret or sense of loss on losing his childhood.
Question 4: Which, do you think are the most poetic lines? Why?
Answer: The following lines in the poem are most poetic:
It went to some forgotten place That’s hidden in an infant’s face,
That’s all I know.
These lines beautifully sum up the process of growth and the disappearance of a particular stage of life. These lines have a figurative or metaphorical meaning also. The infant’s innocent face hides many things behind its smiles. Perhaps the childhood lies hidden in some forgotten place lying buried deep inside a child’s consciousness.
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1: What did the speaker learn about the existence of Heaven and Hell ?
Answer: As the speaker grew to be mature, he acquired reasoning power. He realized that Hell and Heaven could not be found in Geography books or Atlas. Since they could not be located anywhere in the world map, he concluded that they did not exist. He would believe only what he could see and find.
Question 2: How did the speaker realise the hypocrisy of the adults?
Answer: The speaker noticed a wide gulf between what adults appeared to be and what they actually were in real life. There was apparent contradiction between their words and deeds. They talked of love and advised others to love, but they never acted lovingly.
Question 3: How did the realization of being the master of his own mind helped him ?
Answer: The realization that he was the master of his own mind, and could use it in any way he liked, filled him with self confidence. He could now think independently and need not repeat parrot like thoughts of others.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1: ‘Childhood is an essential state in the process of growing up, but it can’t go on forever.” Discuss.
Answer: Childhood is an important stage in the process of growing up of every person. The human infant is totally dependent on others, but during childhood he gains physical, emotional and mental strength. As the tiny baby grows bigger in size, other faculties also develop. This stage is an important landmark in man’s growth, but it can’t go on forever.
Childhood being a stage, must give way to another stage. It is followed by adolescence or early youth. Now all the faculties are fully developed. The person acquires reasoning power. His rationalism helps him to decide truth or falsehood, fact and fiction. He acquires a fine capability of analysis and discrimination. Now he can see through persons and things. He begins to understand the hypocrisy of adults. He gains confidence and becomes an independent thinker.